The European Union has decided to cut Turkey’s pre-accession funds by €85 million in its 2020 budget, compared to the draft budget proposed by the European Commission.
The Council of the European Union said in a press release that the reason of this cut was “the distancing of Turkey from EU values.” “More funds, on the other hand, have been provided for the Western Balkans,” it said.
The announcement came after the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament reached agreement on an EU budget for 2020 on Nov. 18. Total commitments are set at €168.7 billion. Total payments amount to €153.6 billion, rising 3.4 percent from 2019, reported the Council.
EU lawmaker Monika Hohlmeier of Germany also confirmed the cut in funds for Turkey in remarks made to the German Press Agency dpa, according to a news report published on Deutsche Welle English.
Hohlmeier said that due to concerns over press freedom and the rule of law in Turkey, the 2020 budget will only provide funds for civil society, the Erasmus student exchange program and support for Syrian refugees.
The European Union had also decided to cut Turkey’s pre-accession funds in its 2019 budget — by 146.7 million euros at the time.